How to improve your Local SEO? Good question.
When you run a small business, you’re not competing for the top Google search results of all time.
You want search results that attract local customers.
That means a different SEO strategy from one meant to attract people from all over the world.
Making yourself the first or second result in your area isn’t easy, either.
With the right strategy, however, you can improve your local results and get more customers.
Make a Google My Business Page
Create a Google My Business page for your local business.
Just setting up the page gives you lots of benefits; people use Google to discover businesses all the time.
Your Google My Business page allows you to control how your business appears on the search engine giant.
Input and edit the information, including what kind of products or services you offer.
This information displays in both Search and Maps results.
That way, you can make it clear where you’re located and what your hours are.
This is one of the easiest ways to optimize local SEO.
Let’s say you’re a florist.
When someone searches for florists in your area on their smartphone or computer, Google displays a map with local results.
You’re more likely to show up on that map if you have a Google My Business page.
The thought of reading what people have to say about your business can be frightening, and nobody likes getting bad feedback. However, reviews are essential to your local SEO strategy, so you need to increase the number you have.
Get reviews wherever you can.
A business with lots of reviews gets a higher Google ranking than a business with very few.
Target a few places where you’d like reviews, like on your Google My Business profile and through Yelp.
Reviews also give potential customers a reason to choose your business over others.
Many search results display the average stars a business receives on various sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.
In fact, 88 per cent of people pay attention to reviews, both positive and negative, when deciding whether to buy something or from whom to buy it.
So how do you attract reviews?
Offer incentives for leaving a positive review, like a coupon or a special opportunity.
On your site, ask people to leave a review about their experience.
You can use a survey to see what customers think about your services.
Rank in the Google Maps 3-Pack
What is the Google Maps 3-Pack?
When you google something business-specific, like “restaurants near me,” three business results appear before any other search results.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a smartphone or a tablet.
You’ll see a map with red dots corresponding to the locations of the three places listed below it.
Getting into that Google Maps 3-Pack is a serious achievement that will boost your local SEO.
Along with setting up your Google My Business page and getting reviews — both of which help you crack the 3-pack — you need to get links back to your pages.
It sounds difficult to get other people to link to your website, but you can improve the number of links you have from quality sites in several ways.
First, look for local directories and directories that focus on businesses like yours.
Get your business listed in as many of these directories as you can.
Just make sure the directories are authority sites.
Second, keep an updated blog and promote your content.
Evergreen content is best because you can promote it a few times a year and it’ll still be relevant.
The more people who link to your content from their sites, the better off you are.
Figuring out what kind of content will succeed is difficult, so you’ll need to experiment before you find a formula that works for your business.
Create Location-Based Pages
Your website needs location-based pages, and that location information needs to be in a specific format.
First, your site should have your complete address and phone number.
Second, that information needs to be in text format.
It’s fine if you have a heading featuring an image incorporating the information as long as you list it somewhere else on your landing page in normal text.
Search engines can’t search your address if it’s in picture form.
Display your contact information more than once.
Most pages have their address and phone number listed at the bottom of every page.
If you have multiple locations, you can list them all on your contact page.
Just make sure you only list one phone number per address. Too many phone numbers confuse search engines.
You can also edit the tags on your page for local SEO. Your META, your URL, and your H1 tags can all include your location information.
You can even tag your images with your location.
Even competitive industries like bad credit car finance can achieve results using this technique.
Use Social Media Marketing
Social media is a fantastic way to boost your local SEO.
First, you need a steady stream of followers who engage with your content.
Post great content, including interactive content, to attract people to your social media pages.
When your content is good, a percentage of those followers will link to your site directly from their blogs, Twitter accounts, and other social media spots.
That helps you gain more links.
Your quality content also encourages people to share it.
According to Mass Planner, getting a lot of people to share your content via social media will also give you a boost in search engine results.
You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope people will share.
Much the same way you attract reviews, you can incentivize sharing with your followers.
Offer prizes and exclusive content to people who share your stuff.
Ask questions or make quizzes and encourage people to “repost” so their friends can answer, too.
You’ve got lots of options, and they only grow with the size of your follower base.
You’ll have to work on each aspect of local SEO to have a cumulative effect. One alone might not do much, but together you can boost your local rankings and see a serious uptick in business. Good luck, and don’t give up!
If you would like to hire us to manage your SEO, please get in touch.